Letters to the editor, Feb. 20

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

The climate crisis continues

“We are grieving our grandkids – yours and mine.” This powerful message was written on a large poster carried by two grandmothers during a recent demonstration in Park Slope initiated by the environmental organization Extinction/Rebellion (www.rebellion.earth). This sentiment is expressed often by seniors and is totally justified. If we do not take action to drastically reduce global warming now the future for the next generations looks bleak. Why are we procrastinating?

Fortunately, not everyone is. Recently, there seems to be a recognition of the dangers at hand at the highest level of industry, finance, and government, some of them expressed at the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, Switzerland. It behooves us to take note of the following:

  1. Laurence D. Fink, chief executive of BlackRock announced in his annual letter to the world’s largest companies that his firm will make investment decisions with environmental sustainability as a core goal. BlackRock is the largest in its field, with nearly seven trillion under management. His intent is to encourage every company, not just energy firms, to rethink their carbon footprint (New York Times, January 14, 2020).
  2. Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Sir David Attenborough, the British broadcaster and natural historian, launched the global Earthshot Prize. It will celebrate the achievements of five individuals, teams or organizations each year for the next decade promoting further research and will be funded by private donors and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Royal Foundation. Charles, the Prince of Wales, launched his sustainable Markets Council to bring together leading international figure to help decarbonize the global economy (Majesty, February 2020).
  3. The British oil giant BP said it aimed to eliminate by 2050 all of the planet warming emissions – as well as the emissions caused by the burning of the oil and gas it pumps out of the ground (New York Times, February 13, 2020).
  4. The idea of planting one trillion trees globally by 2030 has found a friend in President Trump who is supporting it. He also says now “that climate change is very important to him” (New York Times, February 13, 2020).

The above are just pronouncements right now, awaiting action and follow through. But they raise hope because they are coming from sectors that were silent and/or opponents of climate change ideas before. Their cooperation is needed in all the efforts that many local and regional entities already are and have been engaged in. For success all sectors of societies have to become visibly engaged. We can be part of the solutions by becoming an active, visible participants. Among others, the journal Solutions by the Environmental Defense Fund (existing for over 50 years) provides excellent information and guidance on how to proceed.

With Earth Day approaching (April 22), now is a good time to renew our commitment. Why not attend the “Climate Change Brainstorming Meeting” on March 3, at 5:30 p.m. at the Stuy Town Community Center (449 E 14th Street)? Remember the grandmothers!

Irmgard C. Taylor
Stuyvesant Town


PCV resident Barbara Zapson and her husband Julio Cruet-Adrover are featured in a PSA from the city encouraging residents to get flu shots.

Flu season still in full swing

The flu has become so bad in New York City that the NYC Department of Health is using our (my husband and I) pictures all over the city, in Spanish and in English, in subways and bus stop shelters … Again!

We are long-time tenants in PCV and Sabina Mollot thought our story funny enough to publish, three years ago. So here it is, once more, with a new picture in Spanish this time, as a public service.

My husband, Julio Cruet-Adrover, is a professional actor/singer and, unbeknownst to me, had applied for a gig for both of us as a “senior Spanish couple.” I am neither an actress, nor am I Spanish-speaking but, nonetheless, we were called in for an audition. The producer liked the way we looked together and changed the script (for the TV videos) for just Julio to speak, and they hired us!

Thank you and – if you haven’t already, get your flu shot! You’re more apt to catch that in New York than the Coronavirus!

Barbara Zapson
Peter Cooper Village

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